Raw pu-erh has been the only type of pu-erh that was available until ripened pu-erh (cooked) has been introduced by a tea master in Yunnan who invented the pile fermentation technique. There was a lot of demand from tea drinkers in China for naturally fermented pu-erh teas while nothing much was in reserve as most of the stored teas were destroyed during the cultural revolution. This suggests that tea drinkers in China were after a mature flavour. Normally, a high-quality raw pu-erh is expected to be preserved for around 10 years or more and the older it is the better its taste becomes. For this reason, raw pu-erh teas are often compared with wine. However, to enjoy a raw pu-erh and feel its maturation over the years, one needs just a piece of pu-erh cake rather than investing in cases of wine.
I love the fact that a good old pu-erh tea can satisfy hungry taste buds by being incredible, accessable and affordable at the same time.
This raw pu-erh is not an aged one as it was plucked and processed in 2019. However, it was enjoyable. Unexpectedly not puckery and had a long-lasting floral taste. Its name ‘Lan Xiang Gu Yun’ reveals that it comes from ancient tea trees and offers an orchid aroma. This tea was cultivated in famous Jingmai Mountain which lies in the southwestern border of Yunnan Province. This is the very place where Blang ethnic minority people have been traditionally cultivating tea for over 1800 years.
This tea gave me a warming sensation on a cold winter day. I am looking forward to re-brewing it next year to observe any possible changes to its taste and the colour of its liquid.
There is a lot to say about pu-erh teas. Stay tuned for more!
Harvest time: Spring2019
Leave colour:Green with bright yellow
Liquor colour:Bright yellow
Tea taste: Mild with a long-lasting aftertaste
Steeping/brewing:You can use around 90°C water temperature and brew for up to one minute in gongfu style or up to three minutes in Western-style. You can brew the leaves many times (until the taste is lost). To each infusion add additional time. Experiment for a result that suits your taste.
Shelf life: 10 years and more(to improve shelf-life, store the sealed tea leaves in a dry, ventilated place with low temperatures and away from any odour)